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Study Reveals Multiple Root Causes for Drug Shortages
Date:6/12/2013

ach of us individually; after all, as patients, we count on having the medicine we need."

While no single technical or manufacturing cause for drug shortages was identified, the key findings include:

  • Issues within the quality systems of manufacturing can lead to drug shortages. Respondents weighted quality issues as the single most important factor leading to drug shortages. Within the quality systems, the data suggested that issues with aseptic processing equipment are a significant factor in sterile drug shortages. In addition, quality issues leading to drug shortages or near misses were present during technology transfer in a small but significant number of cases.
  • Companies that have successfully avoided drug shortages focus on strong quality systems, and the involvement of company leadership is notable in those companies that avoid shortages. The top ranked success factor cited by companies that were successful in preventing shortages was an organizational focus on strong quality systems aimed at ensuring compliance with manufacturing regulations. Support from senior management to drive the drug shortage prevention programs, as well as well-defined metrics tailored to proactively identify the potential risk of a shortage, adequate resources for the prevention program and specific organizational goals to prevent shortages differentiated the companies who successfully avoided a shortage from those that did not.
  • Improved regulatory interaction can mitigate the likelihood of a shortage. A significant number of respondents indicated that issues related to Health Authority Inspections and approval processes also played an important role in drug shortages. Respondents identified a number of areas where they believed the level and quality of interaction with regulators could be improved. Interestingly, an additional differentiator of companies that successfully avoided shortages was their e
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